, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 4 – The Council of Governors Chairman Isaac Ruto now says they would consider merging their referendum agenda with the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) should the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) demand it.
“Yes,” he said, “we will look at them if IEBC feels we must do that.”
Short of which, Ruto maintained, the two calls for a referendum would remain just that, two.
This was despite his acknowledgement that there are things that both parties were pushing for that are the same, such as county involvement in matters security and more money going to the counties.
CORD has in the past made no secret of its willingness to join forces with the Council of Governors in the push for a referendum. Ruto again downplayed the public distancing by some governors from the referendum calls saying that behind closed doors all governors were firmly behind the push.
“Not withstanding what you are hearing, other governors being scared out of it in their own areas, but when we meet as Council of Governors, there’s hardly any governor who says no,” he told Capital FM News.
The scared governors, he said, clearly not as seasoned as he in the game of politics. “I’m seasoned enough not to be scared by empty drums,” he said.
He had therefore not backed out of his calls for a referendum and dialogue with the national government, he said, went off the table when they failed to fulfill their side of the bargain that led them to back out of a referendum last year.
“The national government has refused to honour whatever agreements they’ve had with the Council of Governors for the last one and a half years. They should be telling us about the 17 legislations that they have passed which are clipping on functions of counties,” he accused.
Tough talk for the governor who last month restated his allegiance to the Jubilee Coalition saying he had, “no problem,” with his party leader and Deputy President William Ruto.
Meru Governor Peter Munya joined Ruto in pushing the referendum agenda at a debate organised by the Law Society of Kenya on Thursday and urged Members of County Assemblies to support them and not be scared off as some governors allied to the Jubilee Coalition had.
“You cannot be ejected from a party for exercising your Constitutional right to vote. Who made it the official Jubilee position anyway. I belong to the bus party and nobody asked me what I thought,” he said.